A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament Readings (1-56)


[Comments on readings in A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament – this chapter was written by Merrill] The search for a center, or that one unifying idea in Scripture, Merrill agrees with himself that Genesis 1:26-28 is the center (p. 13 and p. 27 in  Everlasting Dominion).  I have never really thought of this as being the center of the Bible.  I always thought more along the lines that God saving mankind to demonstrate His glory in a way that otherwise would not have been possible was more the overarching “center.”  But I see value in pointing to Scripture, rather than some theological idea that is extra-biblical.  It is hard, at least at this point, to try and fit the whole of Scripture underneath the “commission” as it were, of man by God in the beginning because in my mind it does not “feel” as personal as what is revealed in the New Testament, in being the child of God and having a real, personal relationship with the God of the universe.  But as I think of Revelation, it really does seem to point to the center being Genesis 1:26-28, in that things are returned to what seems to be a “pre-fall state.”  Obviously things are different than the Garden in the new heaven and new earth, but the whole concept of reigning with Christ, and Jesus being the king, really rings true with this first commission.  But I am not totally ready yet to ascribe to this view, I think it will take some more study, and I look forward to studying the Old Testament in this light.
I’m not sure if I agree with Merrill in his point about the subjection of women.  It seems he believes that man was not over woman in role before the fall, but that this role came into being after the fall in the curse (p. 20).  Man named woman, normally understood to be a sign of authority (as was done to the animals).  Yes, this authority is different than the authority man has over animals, because God commissions both man and woman in this dominion.  But it still remains that man was created first, and woman was created out of man to be his help-mate, not the other way around.  I am not sure what Merrill’s views are on the roles of women and men in the church, but it would be interesting, especially to see how his views in Genesis effect his view of the New Testament passages.
When Merrill pointed Noah out as the “Second Adam” (p. 23), I cringed a little bit, in that I believe that to be a title of Christ.  I have never heard it assigned to Noah – but perhaps that is why he put it in quotations.  Also, I don’t agree with Merrill’s assumption of an Adamic Covenant, in that the covenant that God gave to Noah was that he would not kill all of mankind again by a flood, not the commission to be fruitful and multiply.  Therefore I do not feel that it “can refer only to something antecedent and the only possible antecedent is that covenant implied by Genesis 1:26-27” (p. 23).
In regards to man being as an image of God on the earth after the fall, this is a hot topic, and I think hard to articulate.  I think Merrill could have spent some more time articulating his view, because he does not get very specific into the practical realm of this fact.  If we are all the image of God, how does that play out?  Is this one rational for judgment, being that men have represented God in an unworthy manner?  What does the fact that man is still the image of God imply?  I feel like my questions are unanswered by Merrill.

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